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Little Moose Wilderness Area

State Land Master Plan February 2014 Description

This area lies in Hamilton County, in the Towns of Arietta, Morehouse and Lake Pleasant. To the north it is bounded by the Moose River Plains Intensive Use Camping Area (along the Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road) and the South Branch of the Moose River; to the west by the Moose River Plains Wild Forest near the Otter Brook Road; and on the south and east by the Moose River Plains Wild Forest corridor along the routes of the former Otter Brook Truck Trail and former Wilson Ridge Road. The area does not include Little Moose Lake, its boundary looping around the lake and crossing its outlet just west of where the outlet - the South Branch of the Moose River - begins at the lake.

Comprised almost entirely of the slopes of Little Moose and Manbury Mountains, this Wilderness exists between the upper reaches of the South Branch of the Moose River and that river's first major tributary, Otter Brook. Both these rivers are designated "Scenic" rivers. The terrain is predominantly steep and rugged, the only notable areas of exception being some wetland flats in the upper river area of the South Branch of the Moose River. Sly Pond, at an elevation of 2,872 feet above sea level, is more than 1,000 feet higher than nearby Beaver Lake or Icehouse Pond down in the Moose River Plains and is one of the highest water bodies in the Adirondacks. Nearly 800 feet upslope from Sly Pond is the 3,634-feet summit of Little Moose Mountain, the highest point in the area. Some restricted but rewarding views are afforded from a small ledge near the spruce-fir forested summit. The spruce-fir forest here, which also encompasses the higher elevations of nearby Manbury Mountain, is potential breeding habitat for the Bicknell's thrush.

While the entire perimeter of the area is accessible via either the Forest Preserve road network of the Moose River Plains or the mountain bike trail of the Moose River Plains Wild Forest corridor, the South Branch of the Moose River on the north and west lacks foot bridges and can be challenging to cross, and no foot trails lead into the area from the corridor. Public use of this area is low and the opportunities for solitude very high.

This area does not yet have an adopted Unit Management Plan.

Mapping Resources:
(Not from the State Land Master Plan or Unit Management Plans)

Recreational Opportunities Map

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Soils and Wetlands

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Little Moose area statistics:

State Lands 12,258 Acres
Bodies of Water (2) 24 Acres
  (minimum) 1,840 Feet
  (maximum) 3,634 Feet
Foot Trails 4.6 Miles
Horse Trails 3.3 Miles
Non‑conforming Uses:  




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